Thursday, October 8, 2015

Chick-fil-A Wants to Be The Change in Vine City

Chick-fil-A plans new restaurant in Atlanta's Vine City 

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A recently made public their plans for a new restaurant in Atlanta's Vine City neighborhood. The new 4,000 square foot freestanding restaurant would open at corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Lowery Boulevard, adjacent to an existing Walmart.  Although the restaurant is currently in the early planning stages, Chick-fil-A anticipates the restaurant will open in early 2017.  

Many industry and restaurant observers have questioned whether Chick-fil-A can thrive in an environment surrounded by lower income communities. Chick-fil-A, while not expensive, is thought of by many as a premium fast food, more costly than nearby McDonald's.

30314, the zip code in which the new restaurant will be located, has one of the highest crime rates in the state, highest number of teen pregnancies and lowest percentage of high school graduates. 

Chick-fil-A recently adopted a zip code restrictive program for patrons to participate in its First 100 store opening promotions.  It will be interesting to see how limited the company makes the Vine City opening, perhaps restricting the award, a year's worth of Chick-fil-A, exclusively to those living within 30314.   

The zip code has been an area of great interest for Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy.  A press release that accompanied the announcement read in part: 

“We made a promise to the city of Atlanta to do everything we could to do our part in helping revitalize the Westside neighborhood,” said Cathy. “This restaurant is just one measure of our overall commitment to the effort. It is our hope that the restaurant will help foster community within the neighborhood and offer an environment where families will share meals, business people can meet, and neighbors experience genuine, heartfelt hospitality.”  In addition to the new restaurant, Cathy highlighted a $300,000 donation the Chick-fil-A Foundation recently made to the Westside Future Fund. The initial gift was announced last month at a meeting with the Atlanta Committee for Progress and will be used to help the Westside Future Fund develop a master plan for the community by studying the issues in the neighborhood to develop informed, long-term solutions.

Chick-fil-A currently has over 130 locations throughout metro Atlanta, but has been increasing their number of intown and urban locations in recent years.  Following the success of their new location at the College Football Hall of Fame on Marietta Street downtown, Chick-fil-A will open a new restaurant on Northside Drive near Georgia Tech next month.  

Another new Chick-fil-A is planned for Glenwood Place in Glenwood Park early next year.  

Earlier this month, Chick-fil-A made their highly anticipated debut in New York's Garment District.  The restaurant, the chain's first full service restaurant in New York, is located at 37th Street & 6th Avenue and is the biggest ever at 5,000 square feet over three floors.   

Do you think Chick-fil-A will be the catalyst for change in the Vine City community? Do you think Chick-fil-A's menu will be too expensive for the Vine City area?  What else can be done to improve the Vine City community?  

Please share your thoughts below.    

7 comments:

ImAndy said...

From a company with roots in Hapeville, a location that still exists today with lines out the door I don't understand the income gap comparison. This location will be hugely successful just like all the others

Kid said...

"30314....... has one of the highest crime rates in the state, highest number of teen pregnancies and lowest percentage of high school graduates."
I wonder, what is the racial makeup of that zip code?

Adult said...

@kid > probably a racial makeup with zero trailer parks, nobody walking around barefoot nor confederate flags on the back of pickup trucks.

Anonymous said...

Why limit the impoverished? Why does racial make up matter? Maybe if areas with lack of resources had options to eat healthier then diabetes rates would be down.

Ham said...

Overall this is a good thing and I suspect they’ll be successful. Chick-fil-a has long focused on scholarships and career development for their employees. So, hopefully they can be small part of economic redevelopment in this area. We’ve seen time and time again how government has failed, so maybe by attracting more private business into this area will create some improvement. Also, their prices are not that much more than Mickey-D’s but the quality of the overall experience is leaps and bounds above the Clown’s Place. So, again, maybe presenting a well run customer focused business can present a model for the community.

Kid said...

@Adult, most likely so as those usually signify much lower crime at the least.

Terry Ross said...

Chick-fil-A will surprised at just how the store will do. The economy in that area can/will support Chick-fil-A but they must understand and plan for difference in patrons/area challenges that will inevitably be different from Dunwoody challenges